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Drowning Prevention Tips

Close the Pool Gate - Save a Child's Life!
Assign a responsible adult to be a Water Watcher!
Drowning Facts

Most drowning and near-drowning occur when a child accidentally falls into a pool or is left alone in a tub. Remember. it takes only an inch of water and a few moments for a child to drown. Follow these water safety rules and make sure your children know them and observe them at all times.

  • If a child in missing, immediately look in the pool and/or spa first.
  • Never leave a child alone in a pool, spa, beach or tub - not even for a second. If you must leave for any reason, take the child with you.
  • Young children are never drown-proof, even if they've had 'water adjustment" instruction.
  • Enclose your pool and spa with a fence or wall. All gates should have a spring lock, self-closing and self-locking mechanism. The inside latch should be above the reach of toddlers and young children. Keep pool and spa areas locked to prevent unsupervised access.
  • Consider extra layers of protection such as safety fences, safety covers and alarms on doors and windows leading to the pool. However, do realize these devices are not fool-proof and there is no substitute for adult supervision.
  • When using safety fences, remove chairs, toys or other items that children could use to climb over the fence.
  • When using safety covers, fully remove before using the pool, replace them promptly after use and remove standing water after rains.
  • Teach your child pool or spa safety habits: no running, pushing, dunking or jumping on others; no diving or jumping in shallow water.
  • Don't rely solely on plastic inner tubes, inflatable arm hands or other toys to prevent accidents.
  • Keep toys, especially tricycles or wheel toys away from the pool or spa.
  • Don't allow anyone of any age to swim without a 'spotter" nearby. Examples of safety behavior by adults are important for young children.
  • Don't permit playful screaming (false alarms) for help; a real emergency could go unrecognized.
  • Teach your child the best way to get out of the pool or spa quickly.
  • Keep emergency reaching and throwing aids in a stationary position on both sides of the pool.
  • Don't allow your child to swim immediately after a heavy meal.
  • Don't allow swimming during thunderstorms.
  • Don't allow glass in the pool or spa area.
  • Don't allow the use of drugs or alcohol by persons using the pool, spa, or pool or areas.
  • Enroll children over three in swimming lessons taught by qualified instructors. Keep in mind that lessons don't make your child drown-proof.
  • Never let children swim alone or in unsupervised areas like quarries, canals or ponds.
  • Teach your swimmers never to dive into unknown bodies of water or from the sides or shallow ends of pools. Wade in first to test depth.
  • Both you and your children should learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) as soon as possible.
  • Have a portable or cell phone at the pool or spa. Teach your children how to dial the 9-1-1 emergency system.

Facts on Drowning

Fact: Drowning is the leading cause of death for San Diego County children between one and four years old. About 70 percent of these drowning occur in a residential swimming pool or spa.
Fact: In the past ten years, over 540 children were admitted to Children's Hospital for drowning and near incidents and 116 of them were deaths.
Fact: Drowning is a silent event. Drowning children do not struggle or cry for help. Since the child submerges almost immediately, no warnings occur.
Fact: Drowning occur in surprisingly short breaks of supervision. Victims were often last seen indoors or playing outdoors away fro the pool/spa area. Adults were almost always nearby.

 


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